After a year-long legal battle, French luxury brand Hermès wins the case against MetaBirkins’ creator. Rothschild’s MetaBirkins NFT collection was the subject of the Hermès lawsuit. The jury determined that Rothschild did profit from Hermès’ goodwill by establishing NFTs based on the fashion house’s Birkin bags. Later, the court awarded Hermès $133,000 in damages.
The case sets a great example for NFT creators
The jury also determined that the NFTs were not protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. The case establishes a crucial precedent for NFT creators and creates the framework for intellectual property (IP) law as it relates to digital creations. Future trademark lawsuits may require creators like Rothschild to exercise greater caution when developing NFTs using the IP of other brands.
According to Leichtman Law managing partner David Leichtman, the case was not necessarily about Mason Rothschild’s unauthorized use of the protected Birkin brand. Instead, the question was whether he intended to lead customers to believe the MetaBirkin NFTs were connected to Hermès’ signature item.
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Hermès sued MetaBirkins’ creator for his NFT Collection
Hermès sued Rothschild in January 2022, after the Los Angeles-based designer unveiled the MetaBirkins NFT collection. It was modeled after the company’s well-known Birkin handbag. According to the filing, Rothschild was “stealing the goodwill in Hermès’ famous intellectual property to create and sell his own line of products,” which could cause confusion among its customer base.
Take nine people off the street right now and ask them to tell you what art is but the kicker is whatever they say will now become the undisputed truth. That’s what happened today.
A multibillion dollar luxury fashion house who says they “care” about art and artists but..
— Mason Rothschild (@MasonRothschild) February 8, 2023
According to Rothschild, his project was merely an artistic commentary on the fashion industry. He said that the First Amendment protected his right to express himself creatively. The Hermès v. Metabirkins lawsuit, which had been fought over for a year over allegations of trademark infringement, went to trial on Jan. 30. However, this was the first case to involve non-fungible tokens and trademarks. Also, it will undoubtedly have an impact on the future of NFT-related trademarks.
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